C5.2 Benefits of LCA


According to the Royal Society of chemistry, Life Cycle Assessment is potentially the most important method for assessing the overall environmental impact of products, processes or services.

LCA is technique to assess environmental impacts associated with all the stages of a product’s life from-cradle-to-grave. This is from raw material extraction through materials processing, manufacture, distribution, use, repair and maintenance, and disposal or recycling. LCAs can therefore help avoid a narrow outlook on environmental concerns by:

  • Compiling an inventory of relevant energy and material inputs and environmental releases;
  • Evaluating the potential impacts associated with identified inputs and releases;
  • Interpreting the results to help make a more informed decision.


A key area of LCA is in product design. many products (cars, fridges) have far greater environmental impact during use than during manufacture.

An LCA may also have the following benefits:

  • It is an opportunity to improve the environmental performance of a product. This may lead to costs savings at any given stage of the process.


  • The information gained from LCA may assist policy-makers in determining priority areas for objectives.


  • LCA is another tool that may be used for environmental reporting.


  • The results of an LCA may assist marketing in terms of environmental claims, especially in relation to obtaining endorsement from an eco-labelling scheme.


  • There may be opportunities for a reduction in specific issues that have associated environmental taxes, potentially saving money. For example, carbon tax, packaging regulation fees, landfill tax or climate change levy.


  • Reduction in carbon footprint.